A TRIPLE HANDFUL
Rachna and her sons, from the left, maybe, are Chanary,
Chanarong and Chanara. "Some people wanted me to send two
of my sons off to beg," says Rachna, who's hoping for 2
million riel from Hun Sen that will change the family's life.
YUK RACHNA has finally made it here to the big city, hopeful and determined to tap
the pocket of the most powerful man in the land.
Rachna is confident that by the end of this month, a life of extreme difficulty and
grinding poverty in Koh Kong will be a thing of the past for her, her disabled husband,
and their 7-year-old daugher Chamreun and 3-year-old triplets: Chanary, Chanarong
The 32-year-old Rachna, an orphan herself, was stricken by polio when she was only
8-months-old. She moved from her home in Prey Veng to Koh Kong ten years ago, where
she met and later married Siv Saroeun, a former soldier who lost an eye in 1985 and
still carries shrapnel in his body.
They are extremely poor and being both disabled has caused them to "struggle
a lot to even survive," she said.
Three years after they were married, Saroeun and Rachna had Chamreun. Four years
later, Rach-na gave birth to triplet boys.
"Some people wanted me to send off two of my sons to beg," she said, adding
these people "promised to provide some support for me". She refused.
"When we were in trouble, and sometimes we could not even afford for rice to
eat, we nearly decided to give our children away, but we decided to struggle on feeding
them ourselves," she said.
Neangkok village, where the family live, is a long way from the nearest market, and
it's too expensive and rough to travel there often.
But one day, two months ago, Rachna made the trip with her boys and was told "you
should go and get help from Hun Sen".
The Second Prime Minister has always supported couples who have given birth to triplets,
to the tune of two million riels - more than $520 at today's exchange rate.
Rachna finally arrived at the offices of the Cambodian Disabled People's Organization
(CDPO) at the beginning of this month.
Now she's heard that someone from Hun Sen's cabinet will be meeting her today (Nov
"If I get some support from Samdech Hun Sen, my husband and I can move to accommodation
in another place, nearby a school for my children, because there is not a school
in my current village.
"We love our children," she said, "and if possible we want to help
our triplets sons for their future."